San Diego County, San Diego Rat Control Situation:
Hi David, Is a UV blacklight still useful, exterior-wise, if it rains after the rodents leave their urine stains? I am in the process of performing exterior maintenance to better exclude my roof rats. 1) I have a 25 year old cedar shake roof in San Diego California with openings under each shake along the rake edge of the roof at the gable ends of my house. There's no drip edge, i.e. under the shakes I have roofing paper (now somewhat curled) that runs more or less up to and rests right atop the fascia board. Because I have skip sheathing, and since the cross section of a shake is a wedge that is up to one inch at the upper, thick end, this appears to create many huge entry points along the rake edges even though the sheathing is rabbeted into the fascia board. As a result, I'm thinking of getting a UV blacklight to use outside the house to sleuth for urine stains along the upper edge of the gable end shakes and fascia boards. My question is, how easily does the winter rain wash away the urine, rendering this a pointless exercise? 2) I noticed a new product called "rat-out gel" and was thinking of applying it along the rake edges mentioned above. Or, maybe I should just buy many rolls of X-Clude and use that instead. Or maybe both. Any comment? Thanks very much for your website, Doug
My response: First off, I do not have experience using UV lights to detect rat urine. But I do suspect that rain will severely limit the effectiveness of this approach. I have never heard of Rat-Out Gel or XClude, but I typically stick to physical barriers rather than repellent type devices. If your roof makes this impossible, you might have a tough time keeping the rats out.
San Diego Rat Control Tip of The Week
Are Dogs Good at Keeping Rats Away?
Having rat problems automatically comes with the need to get rid of them. If you have a similar challenge in your home, chances are that you are already thinking about getting the natural enemy of rats to help keep them away. While cats seem to be the most commonly used animal when it comes to keeping rats away, dogs can also play a similar role and even do it better.
There is no denying the fact that cats are great at keeping rats away, but these animals are opportunistic hunters, which simply means that they only kill rats when they see one. Also, as they become older, they begin to develop a lackadaisical attitude towards the hunting and catching of rats.
But in the case of dogs, their hunting spirit becomes fiercer each passing day, and they can be quite aggressive hunters. Also, when dogs become familiar with you, they become territorial and will do everything possible to satisfy you. The moment the dog figures out that you want it to help keep rats away, it will work tirelessly to get this done and will always be on the lookout to catch a passing rat.
To take advantage of the supreme hunting skills of dogs, all you need to do is to get a breed of dog that is very active and train it to follow your commands. Once you can do that, the dog will help keep rats away from your home.